Are the deep oceans cooling?

by Judith Curry

Direct determination of changes in oceanic heat content over the last 20 years are not in conflict with estimates of the radiative forcing, but the uncertainties remain too large to rationalize e.g., the apparent “pause” in warming. – Wunsch and Heimbach

For context, see these two previous posts at Climate Etc.:

Jim Steele has a very good blog post Deep Oceans are Cooling Amidst a Sea of Uncertainty: New Research on Ocean Heat Content that points to the following paper:

Bidecadal changes in the abyssal ocean

Carl Wunsch and Patrick Heimbach

Abstract. A dynamically consistent state estimate is used for the period 1992-2011 to describe the changes in oceanic temperatures and heat content, with an emphasis on determining  the noise background in the abyssal (below 2000 m) depths. Interpretation requires close  attention to the long memory of the deep ocean, and implying that meteorological forcing of decades to thousands of years ago should still be producing trend-like changes in abyssal heat content. At the present time, warming is seen in the deep western Atlantic and Southern  Ocean, roughly consistent with those regions of the ocean expected to display the earliest responses to surface disturbances. Parts of the deeper ocean, below 3600 m, show cooling.  Most of the variation in the abyssal Pacific Ocean is comparatively featureless, consistent with the slow, diffusive approach to a steady state expected there. In the global average,  changes in heat content below 2000 m are roughly 10% of those inferred for the upper ocean  over the 20 year-period. A useful global observing strategy for detecting future change has to be designed to account for the different time and spatial scales manifested in the observed changes. If the precision estimates of heat content change are independent of systematic errors, determining oceanic heat uptake values equivalent to 0.1 W/m2 is possibly attainable  over bidecadal periods.

[Link] to full manuscript

Excerpts from Jim Steele’s post:

Wunsch and Heimbach (2014) humbly admit that their “results differ in detail and in numerical values from other estimates, but the determining whether any are “correct” is probably not possible with the existing data sets.”

They estimate the changing states of the ocean by synthesizing diverse data sets using models developed by the consortium for Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean, ECCO. The ECCO “state estimates” have eliminated deficiencies of previous models and they claim, “unlike most “data assimilation” products, [ECCO] satisfies the model equations without any artificial sources or sinks or forces. The state estimate is from the free running, but adjusted, model and hence satisfies all of the governing model equations, including those for basic conservation of mass, heat, momentum, vorticity, etc. up to numerical accuracy.”

Their results (Figure 18. below) suggest a flattening or slight cooling in the upper 100 meters since 2004, in agreement with the -0.04 Watts/m2 cooling reported by Lyman (2014). The consensus of previous researchers has been that temperatures in the upper 300 meters have flattened or cooled since 2003,while Wunsch and Heimbach (2014) found the upper 700 meters still warmed up to 2009.

Slide1The deep layers contain twice as much heat as the upper 100 meters, and overall exhibit a clear cooling trend for the past 2 decades. Unlike the upper layers, which are dominated by the annual cycle of heating and cooling, they argue that deep ocean trends must be viewed as part of the ocean’s long term memory which is still responding to “meteorological forcing of decades to thousands of years ago”. If Balmaseda and Trenberth’s model of deep ocean warming was correct, any increase in ocean heat content must have occurred between 700 and 2000 meters, but the mechanisms that would warm that “middle layer” remains elusive.

No climate model had predicted the dramatically rising temperatures in the deep oceans calculated by the Balmaseda/Trenberth re-analysis, and oceanographers suggest such a sharp rise is more likely an artifact of shifting measuring systems. Indeed the unusual warming correlates with the switch to the Argo observing system. Wunsch and Heimbach (2013) wrote, “clear warnings have appeared in the literature—that spurious trends and values are artifacts of changing observation systems —the reanalyses are rarely used appropriately, meaning with the recognition that they are subject to large errors.

More specifically Wunsch and Heimbach (2014) warned, “Data assimilation schemes running over decades are usually labeled “reanalyses.”Unfortunately, these cannot be used for heat or other budgeting purposes because of their violation of the fundamental conservation laws; see Wunsch and Heimbach (2013) for discussion of this important point. The problem necessitates close examination of claimed abyssal warming accuracies of 0.01 W/m2 based on such methods (e.g., Balmaseda et al., 2013).”

See Jim Steele’s post for fascinating regional details of ocean heat storage.

 JC reflections

This is a very good paper (and a very good overview by Steele), and there are a number of things I like about it, particularly that they put their findings in the appropriate context of previous findings:

These results differ in detail and in numerical values  from other estimates, but the determining whether any are correct” is probably not possible with the existing data sets.

An appropriate context of uncertainty is provided:

The globally integrated heat content changes involve small differences of the much larger  regional changes. As existing estimates of the anthropogenic forcing are now about 0.5W/m2, the equivalent global ocean average temperature changes over 20 years are mostly slight compared to the shorter term temporal variations from numerous physical sources. Detailed attention must be paid to what might otherwise appear to be small errors in data calibration, and space-time sampling and model biases. Direct determination of changes in oceanic heat content over the last  20 years are not in conflict with estimates of the radiative forcing, but the uncertainties remain too large to rationalize e.g., the apparent “pause” in warming. The challenge is to develop observations so that future changes can be made with accuracies and precisions consistent with the conventional rule of thumb that they should be better than 10% of the expected signal.

Also, sorting out the global ocean heat content issue requires understanding the regional changes, for which the paper provides important insights.

And finally, the paper makes the important point that  long memory of the deep ocean, and implying that meteorological forcing of decades to thousands of years ago should still be producing trend-like changes in abyssal heat content.  We simply shouldn’t expect the deep ocean heat content to reflect year to year or even decadal variations in external forcing.

The bottom line is this, which I repeat from the previous thread Ocean heat content uncertainties:

:All in all, I don’t see a very convincing case for deep ocean sequestration of heat.

242 responses to “Are the deep oceans cooling?

  1. No way this paper ever gets through “pal review.”

    Oh. Wait.

    The logic of “skeptics” always works.

    Until it doesn’t.

    • Steven Mosher

      the logic still works.

      basically to buck the system of pal review you need the biggest of balls.

      1. there is no denying the reality of pal review. it happens.
      2. that does not mean pal review always rules.

    • Joshua -

      Since you are now an expert on ocean heating/cooling it was most gratifying to see your prompt response.

      • Tom C -

        Respond? Ok. Here’s my response.

        It’s an interesting paper with interesting implications to the debate about climate change.

        It made it through peer review, which blows up the inconsistent logic of “skeptics” who simultaneously argue that: (1) papers like this can’t get through peer review because of “Climate McCarthyism,” “pal review” “gatekeeping” and blah, blah, blah and, (2) papers like this justify their “skepticism” (which in itself has some merit, but which doesn’t have merit when argued simultaneously with #1).

        But here’s what will be fun about this paper: Watching “skeptics” spin their wheels as they focus and express their faith in:

        …the uncertainties remain too large to rationalize e.g., the apparent “pause” in warming. –

        while amusingly skipping right or dismissing out of hand the preceding clause

        …Direct determination of changes in oceanic heat content over the last 20 years are not in conflict with estimates of the radiative forcing,…

      • Joshua still has not caught on to the concept of a generalization.

        I suspect all people like Joshua never will.

      • Tom Scharf -

        ==> “Joshua still has not caught on to the concept of a generalization. ”

        I put quotes around skeptic precisely because so many of the “skeptical” arguments are not conditional, not qualified, not quantified, and not supported with evidence. Of course generalizations can be valid and consistent with skepticism.

        I suggest that you observe these threads and others in the “skept-o-sphere” more closely. Then get back to me. We’ll talk.

      • Joshua,

        Few have said it was impossible to make it through peer review or that all climate papers got “pal” review. The argument as I understand it was that many papers in climate science do benefit from some “pal” review (i.e. 1 of the reviewers is a pal). This is not unusual in a small or highly specialized field. The other part(s) of the argument were that skeptical papers had a harder time getting through, that it took longer, that reviewers were tougher, etc. That does not mean they never get published but it may mean they don’t get into Nature or that they are not allowed rebuttals while their “oppenents” get to rush through a comment in a few days. All of this is documented and in addition you have the climate-gate e-mails detailing some of the behind the scenes machinations. Finally, many papers have the obligatory warnings about global warming even if they body of the paper does not really address it or if their conclusions are not really alarming. A paper like this that is well done, does not say for sure that Trenberth is wrong, etc. can get through fairly often.

      • Bill -

        Consider this comment over at WUWT – from our good friend, Al. A comment that I think is fairly typical and representative of the thinking I was referring to.

        pokerguy says:
        July 21, 2014 at 11:41 am

        Another blow to the disingenuous warmists.

        Now who wrote the paper?. Are they “consensus” scientists of the “climate establishment?” Are they “warmists?”

        I’d guess that maybe they are – yet an arbitrary line is drawn to rationalize why “warmists” of the “climate establishment” could have written such a paper. They must not be “warmists” or part of the “climate establishment,” eh? An arbitrary line is conveniently drawn to explain away why, such a paper could have come out of the “climate establishment.” Lines must be drawn to maintain the sense of victimization, to maintain the paradigm of identity aggression and identity defense.

        How about this:

        1sky1 says:
        July 21, 2014 at 2:52 pm
        The propensity to hide scientific ignorance by postulating physically implausible mechanisms operating deep in the oceans is endemic in “climate science.” Good to see real oceanographers exposing this scam.

        Once again, the line of distinction is drawn. These authors can’t be “warmists,” they can’t be part of the “climate establishment.” They are :”real oceanographers.” No, indeed. They are “exposing the scam!”

        There’s more:

        Pamela Gray says:
        July 21, 2014 at 4:43 pm

        2. Now let me with equal swift sword play, dispense with the obligatory, “…[we are] not in conflict with estimates of the radiative forcing…” part. To translate into the proper and much longer thought, “We are genuflecting to thee oh Lord, the Anthropogenic Funding Source, Blessed Gravy Train of our existence to look humbly on our contrite efforts here to see that we are focused only proving your [tiny barely measurable] existence, not that you don’t exist at all. Amen”

        You see how it works? The only reason this article was written and published is because the authors “genuflected” to the “climate establishment.” This is another variation on the theme. It simply can’t be accepted that members of the “climate establishment” could have written an article such as this w/o subverting their scientific integrity.

        Another:

        Katherine says:
        July 21, 2014 at 6:04 pm
        What a lovely, refreshing read, complete with caveats and uncertainties, and quite accessible to someone like me who hasn’t cracked open a science textbook in decades.

        Not the first reference in the thread to how this is “refreshing.” You see, it is different than the norm. If the “climate establishment” publishes something that acknowledges uncertainty, it must be viewed as exceptional, so unusual so as to “refresh.”

        Another:

        James McCown says:
        July 21, 2014 at 11:36 pm
        pokerguy says:
        Another blow to the disingenuous warmists. One of these days, some bright young MSM journalist is going to come along and realize this CAGW nonsense is the greatest scientific mistake ( to be kind) in modern history. It’s a great story waiting only to be written.

        Pokerguy, you’re being far too charitable to the warmists. A mistake is something that is done unintentionally. The warmist research is full of deliberate “mistakes”. Warmist climatology is no more science than astrology or scientology are.

        Hmmm. So is this “blow” to the “warmists” a “deliberate mistake?” Complicated, isn’t it, No way it could have been written by “warmists” who are “genuflecting” to the climate establishment. Because this article isn’t fashioned out of a “deliberate mistake,” as we can see in the work of “warmists.” Fascinating logic.

        Another:

        phlogiston says:
        July 21, 2014 at 10:40 am

        The authors are also dead right to point to how much is not known – in contrast to the bragging all-knowing arrogant warmists whose “mouths claim the heavens and tongues claim the earth”.

        Are these authors “warmists?” Are them members of the “climate establishment?”

        Carl Wunsch:

        I believe that climate change is real, a major threat and almost surely has a major human-induced component.

        Wunsch is particularly interesting in part because of how his discussion of uncertainty has been exploited by “skeptics.”

        My appearance in the “Global Warming Swindle” is deeply embarrassing, and my professional reputation has been damaged. I was duped…

        Harder to find stuff on Patrick Heimbach. Maybe you know, Bill. Is he a “warmist?” Is he part of the “climate establishment?” Is he a part of the “consensus?”

      • Joshua quotes:
        “We are genuflecting to thee oh Lord…”
        A paper was written.
        Someone genuflected (though it’s a matter of interpretation).
        I can live with that. They’ll work it out.

      • Joshua…
        I get the feeling you’ve too much time on your hands. That said, I don’t much like my comment. Silly really. Will take more than one journalist to break this open obviously. Still, one brave guy or gal with enough liberal cred working for an influential enough paper would cause quite the stir. I stand by my assertion that it’s one of the great stories of our time.

      • ‘‘Prediction of weather and climate are necessarily uncertain: our observations of weather and climate are uncertain, the models into which we assimilate this data and predict the future are uncertain, and external effects such as volcanoes and anthropogenic greenhouse emissions are also uncertain. Fundamentally, therefore, therefore we should think of weather and climate predictions in terms of equations whose basic prognostic variables are probability densities ρ(X,t) where X denotes some climatic variable and t denoted time. In this way, ρ(X,t)dV represents the probability that, at time t, the true value of X lies in some small volume dV of state space.’ (Predicting Weather and Climate – Palmer and Hagedorn eds – 2006)

        Enter the monster. Wally Broecker famously described climate as a wild beast at which we are poking sticks. It describes graphically complexity and uncertainty and the fear of the future that brings. There be monsters in climate science and policy. The current pause in warming may be only the most obvious. The 5 stages of uncertainty monster theory have been characterised by Judy. Given the state of things – it is refreshing when anyone gets past stage 1.

        The ‘uncertainty monster’ is an idea that emerged ‘in an analysis of the different ways that the scientific community responds to uncertainties that are difficult to tame. The ‘monster’ is the confusion and ambiguity associated with knowledge versus ignorance, objectivity versus subjectivity, facts versus values, prediction versus speculation, and science versus policy. The uncertainty monster gives rise to discomfort and fear, particularly with regard to our reactions to things or situations we cannot understand or control, including the presentiment of radical unknown dangers.’

        • See no monster: once acknowledged and set free the uncertainty monster is uncontrollable. Thus the strategy is admit no error or uncertainty – to hide the monster – else science will be judged to be wishy washy and unable to provide the necessary level of confidence to justify transforming economies and societies in a green-neosocialist utopian vision. The problem is that shutting your eyes and sticking fingers in ears just enrages a monster grown too big to ignore. Judy insists that there may be as well some ethical issues (in addition to the practical) in hiding – or trying to – the monster.

        • Monster be gone: the trick here is to call for more research to reduce uncertainty while at the same time lauding the most expensive and ineffective insurance policy in the history of the world. That both have proved to be ineffective is the problem. Uncertainty if anything has grown. Computer models are groaning and collapsing under the mass of internal nonlinearities. James McWilliams – Louis B. Slichter Professor of Earth Sciences – UCLA Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics and Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences – put it thus in sentiments echoed in the most rarefied of modelling circles. ‘Sensitive dependence and structural instability are humbling twin properties for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable. They echo other famous limitations on scientist’s expectations, namely the undecidability of some propositions within axiomatic mathematical systems (Gödel’s theorem) and the uncomputability of some algorithms due to excessive size of the calculation.’

        Modellers are evolving two coping strategies. The first involves thousands of times more computing power and billions of dollars. The second involves throwing the towel in and going back to less complex models.

        Monster theory predicts that eliminating uncertainty will be impossible. Hydra like – for each head of uncertainty that science chops off – two more pop up.

        • Monster taming: works by subjectively quantifying and simplifying uncertainty – as in the IPCC guidance notes. It channels the management of uncertainty through expert judgement. This is sympathetic magic in substituting a tame expert for a far less tame monster.

        • Monster hunting: the deliberate and systematic pursuit of challenging ideas at the fringes of knowledge. Pure science challenging accepted notions and extending human knowledge in the context of a social framework fostering accountability, quality control, and transparency of the science.

        • Monster loving: is about learning to love – or at least live with – uncertainty. It gives a space for assessment and management of environmental risks. It is essentially an engineering approach to risk and uncertainty. Assessment and communication of uncertainty and ignorance, along with extended review communities in the wider society, are essential in monster loving. The challenge to monster loving is the ever-changing face of the monster and the new monsters that come forth unpredictably.

        Judy adds a third category to monster hunting – that of using using uncertainty to justify inaction. That might be the second side to this issue – but there is a massive assymetry between the space cadets fixated on hiding uncertainty and the rest of us. They define their consensus and the rest of us falling short. Where science is corrupted by space cadet groupthink it has fallen short of the ideal of science – but the impetus comes from a progressive social cohort that is one step removed but co-opts where it can science, politics and institutions to its agenda. It is certainly not science acknowledging uncertainty monsters that the fallen object to so much as the zeal to transform societies and economies implicit in much of the green-neosocialist manifesto.

        Frankly – there are much more effective ways forward. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and CFC’s. If we are talking about changing the atmospheric composition in ways that are climatically active then sulphates and black carbon should be included as very significant climate actors. It is all exacerbated by population and development pressures. There are ways to approach all of these pressures in an oblique way by looking at global health, education, development, improved agricultural productivity and ecological conservation – while progressing through energy innovation to a high energy future for the peoples of the planet.

      • Rob Ellison commented
        Excellent post!

        Monster hunting:

        Monster hunting is the domain of Sam and Dean, maybe we should give them a call :)

        while progressing through energy innovation to a high energy future for the peoples of the planet.

        In the 60′s, I was a child of the Atomic Age, energy too cheap to meter that someday would give us the world of the Jetson’s and Jupiter II’s. But the world we have now if full of people who fly planes into buildings, and I feel like the world of small energy dense power will not be unleashed into this world, at least not without horrible consequences. And I don’t see the way out of it.

      • Joshua,

        “Watching “skeptics” spin their wheels as they focus and express their faith in:”

        I have no faith in human being’s ability to “know” what’s happening in earth’s climate system. That has been my view from the beginning, that the Earth’s climate system is very complex. Everything I see affirms that view: the pause, the warming of the oceans. It’s not faith. It’s the lack of faith, in people like you, you see.

      • > Since you are now an expert on ocean heating/cooling it was most gratifying to see your prompt response.

        Are you suggesting that Judy is, Tom C?

      • I had to read it three or four times, but I think Tom C is suggesting that Joshua is not an expert on ocean heating/cooling.
        =================

      • Probably a typo, ‘now’ for ‘not’. Always glad to be of assistance in your textual interpretation.
        ================

      • ??? No typo. Sarcasm. Although given Tom’s track record for insight and accuracy, it is possible that he thinks I am an expert on ocean heating/cooling.

      • Sarcasm? Oh, please, Joshua; I thought you were good at texts. The ‘w’ for the ‘t’ is obvious. They are in the same quadrant, even, of the qwerty keyboard.
        ===========

      • I’ve a feeling this is going to be a very amusing day. I’ve already reached my bag limit of two and the sun’s barely up.
        ================

      • “bag limit”
        Kim continues to speak cleverly and carry a big stick… both at the same time.. Someone ought to be paying her for this stuff.

      • > I think Tom C is suggesting that Joshua is not an expert on ocean heating/cooling.

        Neither is Judy.

        Do you think Tom C feels gratified by Judy’s response, Koldie?

      • Thank you for taking the time to give your response Joshua. I now understand where you are coming from. Many people say incautious things in blog posts and not every poster is consistent.

      • willard, I wonder if the deep ocean is cooling. You may wonder as you will. Enjoy.
        ===============

      • Bill -

        ==> “Many people say incautious things in blog posts and not every poster is consistent.”

        Indeed. It is to be expected in intensely polarized debates that overlay beliefs associated with ideological, psychological, political, and cultural identifications.

        And one of the incautious things that people do is confirm their biases about “asymmetry” – that not so coincidentally find incautious behaviors disproportionately distributed on the other “side” of issues. These biases are endemic to the psychological and cognitive building blocks of human reasoning.

        It isn’t “skeptics” fault when they employ contradictory logic w/r/t peer review; it’s human behavior. It is unfortunate, however, when they double-down rather than accept accountability. A paper like this comes out and yet the same ol’ same ol’ goes on, where day-by-day more dreck gets buried on top of the science.

        Wunsch looks like an interesting exception. I’m going to add him to my short list of John N-G and Mojib Latif, to use as a touchstone when trying to understand the science of climate change.

      • Joshua-

        Your analysis of various “skeptics” positions may at times be accurate, but it would seem more reasonable if you applied the same analysis to those sure AGW is a pending disaster and that those who disagree are anti science deniers.

      • Rob -

        ==> “Your analysis of various “skeptics” positions may at times be accurate, but it would seem more reasonable if you applied the same analysis to those sure AGW is a pending disaster and that those who disagree are anti science deniers.”

        More reasonable? Sure. Probably. But my resonableness (personally) here stands independent of my critique of “skeptics.” The obsessive focus of Mosher, Don, Al, Chief, and other denizens on me personally seems to me to be largely a flimsy defensive reaction against that critque. The point isn’t whether I am reasonable.

        Now of course there are “realists” who are sure that AGW is a pending disaster. I don’t agree with them, and think that many of their arguments can be critiqued for the same influences of motivated reasoning as can the arguments of many “skeptics.” But there’s a tricky component here in that also, quite often, “realists” arguments that include discussion of probabilities and error bars and confidence intervals are twisted into arguments of complete certainty by “skeptics.”

        That then becomes a problem – because the important discussion of how to make decisions in the face of uncertainty gets swamped – in no small part because of drama-queened rhetoric from “skeptics” that, rather constantly, turn attempts to discuss the implications of probabilities into “alarmism,” “statism,” blah, blah, blah.

        From Wunsch:

        Thus at bottom, it is very difficult to separate human induced change from natural change, certainly not with the confidence we all seek. In these circumstances, it is essential to remember that the inability to prove human-induced change is not the same thing as a demonstration of its absence. It is probably true that most scientists would assign a very high probability that human-induced change is already strongly present in the climate system, while at the same time agreeing that clear-cut proof is not now available and may not be available for a long-time to come, if ever. Public policy has to be made on the basis of probabilities, not firm proof.

        That quote above should be considered the context of the previous quote I offered:

        I believe that climate change is real, a major threat and almost surely has a major human-induced component.

        When “skeptics” can step out of their binary mentality to discuss those two views of Wunsch without their brains melting, I applaud.

        ==> “…and that those who disagree are anti science deniers.”

        Likewise, I don’t agree with the use of the rhetoric of “deniers.” But I see that rhetoric exploited by drama-queening rhetoric from “skeptics” – the most obvious evidence being the rampant identity aggressive rhetoric of “warmists” and “alarmists” and “eco-Nazis” and “warmistas” and “Lysenko!!!!1!!!!,” etc. And though some of my friends here might like to say that I’m saying “they do it too” as a form of justification, I’m not. My point is that it seems to me that someone with an authentic concern over the counteproductivity of “denier” rhetoric would not then turn around and use rhetoric of a different flavor but of the same brand. They would put on their big boy pants, so to speak, and focus on the science.

      • Rob -

        Here you go:

        ==> ” That might be the second side to this issue – but there is a massive assymetry between the space cadets fixated on hiding uncertainty and the rest of us. ”

        A perfect contribution from our friend the Chief.

        Ask him what he is the chief of…

      • Let’s try that again w/o triggering the filter:

        Rob -

        ==> “Your analysis of various “skeptics” positions may at times be accurate, but it would seem more reasonable if you applied the same analysis to those sure AGW is a pending disaster and that those who disagree are anti science deniers.”

        More reasonable? Sure. Probably. But my resonableness (personally) here stands independent of my critique of “skeptics.” The obsessive focus of Mosher, Don, Al, Chief, and other denizens on me personally seems to me to be largely a flimsy defensive reaction against that critque. The point isn’t whether I am reasonable.

        Now of course there are “realists” who are sure that AGW is a pending disaster. I don’t agree with them, and think that many of their arguments can be critiqued for the same influences of motivated reasoning as can the arguments of many “skeptics.” But there’s a tricky component here in that also, quite often, “realists” arguments that include discussion of probabilities and error bars and confidence intervals are twisted into arguments of complete certainty by “skeptics.”

        That then becomes a problem – because the important discussion of how to make decisions in the face of uncertainty gets swamped – in no small part because of drama-queened rhetoric from “skeptics” that, rather constantly, turn attempts to discuss the implications of probabilities into “alarmism,” “statism,” blah, blah, blah.

        From Wunsch:

        Thus at bottom, it is very difficult to separate human induced change from natural change, certainly not with the confidence we all seek. In these circumstances, it is essential to remember that the inability to prove human-induced change is not the same thing as a demonstration of its absence. It is probably true that most scientists would assign a very high probability that human-induced change is already strongly present in the climate system, while at the same time agreeing that clear-cut proof is not now available and may not be available for a long-time to come, if ever. Public policy has to be made on the basis of probabilities, not firm proof.

        That quote above should be considered the context of the previous quote I offered:

        I believe that climate change is real, a major threat and almost surely has a major human-induced component.

        When “skeptics” can step out of their binary mentality to discuss those two views of Wunsch without their brains melting, I applaud.

        ==> “…and that those who disagree are anti science deniers.”

        Likewise, I don’t agree with the use of the rhetoric of “deniers.” But I see that rhetoric exploited by drama-queening rhetoric from “skeptics” – the most obvious evidence being the rampant identity aggressive rhetoric of “warmists” and “alarmists” and “eco-Naz*s” and “warmistas” and “Lysenko!!!!1!!!!,” etc. And though some of my friends here might like to say that I’m saying “they do it too” as a form of justification, I’m not. My point is that it seems to me that someone with an authentic concern over the counteproductivity of “denier” rhetoric would not then turn around and use rhetoric of a different flavor but of the same brand. They would put on their big boy pants, so to speak, and focus on the science.

      • Mike -

        ==> “Your extensive list of comments (below) from WUWT is mind-boggling. “Skeptics” = commenters on a blog?”

        Sorry for boggling your mind, bro,

        No – “skeptics” don’t = commenters on a blog.

        But nor do Nic Lewis or Stevie Mac = “skeptics.”

        And nor are Nic and Steve immune to the influence of biases.

        One of my favorite “skeptical” arguments is when “skeptics” talk about how “skeptics” aren’t monolithic (which, of course, they aren’t), and then turn right around and talk about what “skeptics” believe as if they are monolithic.

        Sampling WUWT comments is likely to be fairly representative of the most engaged and fanatic of “skeptics.” Nothing more, nothing less.

        Bu how do you think it would be accurate to characterize “skeptics” more generally?

        Here’s some related information. “Skepticism” is largely associated with ideology and party identification. What do you think that you’d get in a representative sampling of the public, asking whether they doubt that ACO2 has any influence on the climate?

        http://www.culturalcognition.net/blog

        I think that there’s evidence there to suggest that my sampling of the comments at WUWT is probably closer to the mark than your appealing to the authority of Nic and Steve.

        What do you think?

      • Mike -

        ==> “Your extensive list of comments (below) from WUWT is mind-boggling. “Skeptics” = commenters on a blog?”

        Sorry for boggling your mind, bro,

        No – “skeptics” don’t = commenters on a blog.

      • Part II

        But nor do Nic or Stevie = “skeptics.”

        And nor are Nic and Steve immune to the influence of biases.

        One of my favorite “skeptical” arguments is when “skeptics” talk about how “skeptics” aren’t monolithic (which, of course, they aren’t), and then turn right around and talk about what “skeptics” believe as if they are monolithic.

        Sampling WUWT comments is likely to be fairly representative of the most engaged and fanatic of “skeptics.” Nothing more, nothing less.

        Bu how do you think it would be accurate to characterize “skeptics” more generally?

        Here’s some related information. “Skepticism” is largely associated with ideology and party identification. What do you think that you’d get in a representative sampling of the public, asking whether they doubt that ACO2 has any influence on the climate?

        http://www.culturalcognition.net/blog

        I think that there’s evidence there to suggest that my sampling of the comments at WUWT is probably closer to the mark than your appealing to the authority of Nic and Steve.

        What do you think?

      • Pamela Gray

        Gosh Joshua, I am flattered you would quote my words!

        Tell you what, I’ll compare my experience with grant writing with your experience. The trick is to find a funding source that will consider your proposal and then if granted, would be willing to “grant” you again. In order to have a chance in hell at that money, you must often publicly nod your head towards the funding body’s agenda. Plain and simple. Happens in all areas of research, not just climate science. It is the nature of the beast that strings are attached because most granting bodies are purposed, not open. You seem unaware of it so maybe you speak from a lack of experience.

        To relate it to climate science, if the only money game in town is sourced from anthropogenic warming alarmism granting bodies, you must be willing to nod your head at them, publicly. Otherwise you are left with a dwindling pool of money that does not have that particular string attached.

        That’s reality, not opinion.

      • Gosh Josh, it seems you know more about us “skeptics” than you know about yourselves.

    • Don Monfort

      I think it’s refreshing that joshie didn’t reflexively go for Judith’s ankle on this one. The little thing is slipping.

      • Excellent point, Scott. And thanks for the advice. It’s nice to know that you care. Can’t tell you how much it means to me.

      • You’re welcome Joshua. Were you to stand back and envision your comments as coming from a skeptic, about warmists, I believe you’d realize how truly off kilter you are.

      • Don -

        Joshua’s hypocrisy here is breathtaking. For months he has been sniping at Judith every time she mentions a pause in cooling. “What pause, Judith? Do you mean a slowdown in the overall trend of warming due to heat accumulation in the ocean?” Huh Judith? Is that what you mean?” Over and over ad nauseum. As if all of this was known and proven and the numbers worked out to the second decimal place.
        This paper is saying “we really can’t prove anything yet” which is exactly what Judith has been saying all along.

      • @Tom C

        every time she mentions a pause in cooling.

        Warming?

      • Tom C -

        ==> ” As if all of this was known and proven and the numbers worked out to the second decimal place.”

        I fear your memory is a bit flawed.

        I’ve never even remotely suggested that it was “worked out.” My argument is that conflating “global warming” with surface air temps may be effective rhetoric but it’s bad science, and doesn’t belong in Congressional testimony, for example.

        I’ve never criticized Judith for focusing on the uncertainties. I think that focusing on the uncertainties is important – but that it runs both ways. Speaking, as she has, about the “pause in global warming” (by equating it with a short-term decrease in a longer term trend of increase in surface temps) ignores the uncertainties related to OHC.

        I have noticed, however, that she may have decided to modify her rhetoric:

        “…the hiatus in global surface temperature increase.”

        http://judithcurry.com/2014/06/01/global-warming-versus-climate-change/

        If so, I applaud.

      • Don Monfort

        Our joshie is a pretentious little runt. His tiresome schtick is to preach to us “skeptics” about our failings, from his lofty perch of moral and intellectual superiority. The Jamaicans have an aphorism that fits our runt:

        Monkey climb too high, show him tail.

        I think they got it from Bacon (Francis):

        He doth like the ape that the higher he clymbes the more he shows his ars.

      • @Don Monfort – I had heard the Management= monkey comparison, but not the Jamaican or Bacon quotes! Excellent! I wonder if it was the inspiration for the Peter Principle?

    • Joshua, guess you didn’t see this, or just don’t believe it happens anywhere but this one isolated journal:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/07/10/scholarly-journal-retracts-60-articles-smashes-peer-review-ring/

    • Judy – first I went into moderation and then the comment disappeared. I normally copy these things – but didn’t consider for a moment that moderation would be permanent.

      In the context of the post and the usual nonsense from the usual suspects – discussing uncertainty at a meta level doesn’t seem out of place. I thought it was a reasonably cogent comment without overt aggression.

      Did you object to the paraphrasing? Overall it seems a disappointing outcome.

    • Your extensive list of comments (below) from WUWT is mind-boggling. “Skeptics” = commenters on a blog? I am supposed to discuss and/or justify what some commenter posted on a blog? Nic Lewis or Steve McIntyre are jointly responsible for their comments?
      What in the world are you thinking? Most comments anywhere on the internet are nonsense. In hotly contested issues, 99% are pure nonsense by people who know nothing whatever. Go to Huffington Post, read any post about climate change. Take any random comment. You will find that it is completely ignorant (this time in the anti-skeptic direction). Is there any reason in the world that I should hold you responsible for what that person said?
      “No cause is so noble that it won’t attract fuggheads.”

      • Part II:

        Mike -

        ==> “Your extensive list of comments (below) from WUWT is mind-boggling. “Skeptics” = commenters on a blog?”

        Sorry for boggling your mind, bro,

        No – “skeptics” don’t = commenters on a blog.

        But nor do Lewis or McIntyre = “skeptics.”

        And nor are Lewis and McIntyre immune to the influence of biases.

      • Part III:

        One of my favorite “skeptical” arguments is when “skeptics” talk about how “skeptics” aren’t monolithic (which, of course, they aren’t), and then turn right around and talk about what “skeptics” believe as if they are monolithic.

        Sampling WUWT comments is likely to be fairly representative of the most engaged and fanatic of “skeptics.” Nothing more, nothing less.

        Bu how do you think it would be accurate to characterize “skeptics” more generally?

        Here’s some related information. “Skepticism” is largely associated with ideology and party identification. What do you think that you’d get in a representative sampling of the public, asking whether they doubt that ACO2 has any influence on the climate?

        http://www.culturalcognition.net/blog

        I think that there’s evidence there to suggest that my sampling of the comments at WUWT is probably closer to the mark than your appealing to the authority of Nic and Steve.

        What do you think?

      • Joshua – obsess much? Seriously, you need something else to do besides making your mission to call out skeptics, or whatever it is you are trying to do.

      • “Sampling WUWT comments is likely to be fairly representative of the most engaged and fanatic of “skeptics.” Nothing more, nothing less.”
        As I was saying. Why are you bothering us with the “most engaged and fanatic of skeptics”? Who cares what they think – who says it makes any sense at all? Who cares what the “most engaged and fanatic” of anti-skeptics think either? Why is that something that you are wasting our time with, or imagining that it is relevant to us at all? Again, would it make sense for you to spend time parsing, explaining, and justifying their counterparts on Huffington Post?
        It isn’t that skeptics “aren’t monolithic”. There are skeptics like McIntyre who work on the math, and lots more who don’t. Same for Robert Way, and lots more there too. Stick to the ones who count.

    • Joshua

      Your logic is flawed. The fact that there are a substantial amount of papers that refute the so called “consensus” (e.g., IPCC) AGW theory does not disprove the notion of “pal review”.

      Nobody is claiming that no journal, anywhere, will ever publish a paper that contradicts the “consensus” position. Rather, skeptics point to the bias that plagues much, but not all, of climate research. The recent scandal involving Dr L. Bengsston epitomizes this highly troubling observation.

      By way of analogy, the fact, for example, that the American people voted in a black President does not refute the notion that racism exists among the American people. Both phenomena–racism and researcher bias — are well documented. The fact that these phenomena do not always rear their ugly head does not mean that that they do not exist.

      To be fair, you are correct in noting that not all publications support the consensus AGW theory. To the contrary, there are ample publications which undercut many of the central premises of AGW. Pal review and researcher bias are still systemic problems even they not limit the publication of every single paper that contravenes AGW theory.

    • Although it’s been explained to Joshua multiple times, he still doesn’t get (or chooses not to get) the simple concept of “testimony against interest.” If we see someone making a point that conflicts with their own interests or preconceptions, we sit up and take notice. We may take that point more seriously than if it came from someone who was normally biased in favor of the point being made. Such an admission implies that the force of the evidence was so great that it was able to overcome the individual’s natural bias against making the point. It is a perfectly sensible heuristic and not necessarily a sign of inconsistency or tribalism or any of the other hobby horses Joshua likes to ride.

    • Rob Starkey

      Joshua asks: “how do you think it would be accurate to characterize “skeptics” more generally?”

      My response- Imo cAGW skeptics are people who are not sure that most proposed CO2 mitigation activities will result in benefits worth the cost/effort. Skeptics are unsure there is reliable evidence that additional warming that occurs as a result of more CO2 will lead to a planet with conditions worse for humanity overall over the long term sufficient for the concerns expressed.

  2. Danley Wolfe

    Trenberth’s paper was basically inconclusive on whether or not heat is accumulating in the deepest oceans. This hypothesis was made as one possible explanation for the lack of warming in the past 16-17 years, and to defend their position that AGW is by and far the main driver of global warming. The ocean storage idea remains an unproven hypothesis.

  3. There is a bigger problem than measurement uncertainty and whether the bulk response is consistent with radiative forcing on the order of 0.5-0.9 W/m2. There is no mechanism for the transfer of heat from the GHG-postulated source location in the atmosphere to the deep ocean that bypasses means to readily observe it. The infrared absorption of seawater is far too high to transmit enough atmospheric energy to any meaningful depth. The only wavelength range that could penetrate beyond a few dozen meters is directly in the middle of the visible spectrum. If this is the proposed mechanism, it is not only insufficient but decidedly non-anthropogenic. You cannot propose this “solution to the missing heat” without also explaining how it got there, and you cannot do that without ignoring either the totality of our instrumental resources or a large portion of well-studied radiative transport in participating media.

    • Directly in the middle of the visible spectrum is where the solar spectrum is. If greenhouse gases slow heat loss from the surface via a back radiation you get warming at depth.

      • Green house gasses cannot alter the flux of energy from a surface, they are postulated to only alter the rate of back radiation.

        You are just using Pekka’s formulation to deliberately conflate overall flux with efflux and influx. It is your normal behaviour, and alas, Pekka’s. Why you and Pekka should pass off this untruth is a bit of a mystery.

        A much more interesting question is what happens to the IR radiation that hits the sea surface; what fraction of it is converted into sensible heat and what fraction is converted into latent heat.

      • Real But Exaggerated

        “Directly in the middle of the visible spectrum is where the solar spectrum is.”

        I think you mean the peak of the solar spectrum is near the middle of the visible spectrum:

        Visible penetrates further ( ~ 100m ) into the ocean than IR, but neither reach anywhere near 3000m.

        And of course, CO2 reduces downward IR at the surface for much of the ocean surface:

        from:

        http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter2.pdf

      • REB, the IR from the atmosphere is all absorbed at the air/surface interface, the skin layer.
        The skin layer is always colder than the bulk phase as water molecules with higher than average kinetic energy are more likely to undergo to escape the liquid phase and join the gas phase.
        The skin is cooler in daylight and at night, that 20 microns below the surface.

      • “If greenhouse gases slow heat loss from the surface via a back radiation you get warming at depth.”

        No. “slow heat loss”, what? Incident radiation emitted by the atmosphere, including re-emission from GHG absorption of earth’s own IR emission, will be at the blackbody spectrum dictated by the temperature of the gases (~270K), minus the absorption from intermediate gas. There are hundreds of thousands of lines, all far-IR. Seawater is opaque to all of this. On that note, the radiative transfer models in our CMIP5 codes are simple…to put it politely.

      • Can you measure temperatures to the nearest 0.001 degrees in your lab, Dr. Halpern? If you needed to, I’m sure you could do it but it would not be easy. Do you really think they know the temperatures of the deep ocean all over the planet to that degree of precision?

      • Go ask Pekka how deep.

      • Directly in the middle of the visible spectrum is where the solar spectrum is.

        The coronal greenline (the centered spectrum) is a good predictor of solar activity.It has been used for long predictions of the SC Chistyakov (1983) Badalyan 2000.

        It allows for the negative prediction of rules (violation of usual behavior) such as the Gnevyshev–Ohl rule.

        Our calculations provide the maximum semi-annual value of
        W in cycle 23 equal to 110–122 and the epoch of maximum in the first half of 2000. Hence, the present cycle is not as high as was expected and predicted several years ago, nor as low as forecasted by some authors. This shows that the Gnevyshev–Ohl–Kopecký
        rule fails in this cycle. The end of the cycle is expected at 2006–2007. Proceeding from the current CGL brightness (the second half of 1999), we can predict a low cycle 24 with the maximal
        W not exceeding 50 (similar to cycles 5–6) and the epoch of maximum at 2010–2011. Thus, as inferred by our results, we are on the eve of a deep minimum of solar activity similar to that at the beginning of the 19th century

      • Leonard Weinstein

        Eli,
        It is true that back radiation decreases the net radiation heat transfer up from the surface, however, evaporation and conduction/convection take up all of the difference. It is the increase in altitude of outgoing radiation to space combined with the lapse rate that actually results in the increased surface (and thus deep er temperatures) IF there is an increase. Change in albedo due to cloud and other feed-backs may or may not prevent this. However, there is no mechanism that would heat the mid layer of water without heating the surface first.

      • No mechanism?

      • Real But Exaggerated

        Leonard -

        you didn’t look at the piccy:

        Net forcing at the surface ( as reported by the IPCC ) is modeled to be NEGATIVE. That doesn’t mean that rising temperatures don’t tend to heat the oceans but attributing ‘back radiation’ from increased CO2 is incorrect.

      • Eli Rabett | July 22, 2014 at 5:44 pm |

        If

        greenhouse gases slow heat loss from the surface via a back radiation you get warming at depth.

        Regardless of how much back radiation there is, the sky is fracking cold, 60-80F colder than surface temps, unless there are clouds, in which case they are near surface temps (10-20F colder).
        So the take away is the surface radiates to a very cold surface unless it’s blocked. A slight increase in clouds would drastically reduce radiative cooling, Co2 not so much (no matter how much DWIR there is, the molecules are still the same temp as what I’m measuring, ie cold).

      • I think I’ve never heard so loud
        The quiet message in a cloud.
        =======================

      • I’m very glad to see that at least some see the clouds for what they are.

        Other than beautiful….

      • Leonard: You are engaging in L’Chatelier’s fallacy. Let us assume that increased evaporation from back radiation’s was the only effect. In that case sea surface temperature would fall because of evaporative cooling. Evaporative cooling partially mitigates the rise you would expect, but does not completely cancel it. Classic student mistake on the Chemical Kinetics chapter.

        Which answers Doc Martyn’s question of how much of the back radiation is converted into sensible heat and how much into latent heat. Eli (and Pekka, if Eli may speak for him) would point out that when we heat water, some of the heat is converted into latent heat as part of the water evaporates, and another part into sensible heat. The temperature of the water increases. Cooks the damn red herrings.

        Mi Crio raises an interesting point, that the atmosphere, or at least the part that radiates to space is 50-60 K colder than the surface, and thus the radiation interchange is to/from a much colder place. What is missing is that the radiation interchange with greenhouse gases occurs over a very short distance to the surface, About 1m on line center of a CO2 or a water line. So the interchange is to over a relatively small distance. You could even imagine that in some places (like over ice), the atmospheric temperature would be higher than that of the surface.

      • Dumb bunny, dumb, dumb bunny.
        Do when know the line-shape of the temperature profile of the skin layer into the bulk when irradiated by IR?
        It is not a fish, it is physics.

      • Voigt Doc, where you get your shoes?

    • How it gets there is easy, it sinks in the Arctic in slightly warmer melt waters, goes right into the deep.

      • Good Luck detecting any difference in the temperature of melt water. It is called melt water for a reason. Any evidence to back up this weird ad hoc explanation? Of course not! You just made it up.

      • Time For An Ob

        “How it gets there is easy, it sinks in the Arctic in slightly warmer melt waters, goes right into the deep.”

        And at what temperature does ice melt?
        And does warmer water tend to sink? or rather, float?

      • Time For An Ob commented

        And at what temperature does ice melt?
        And does warmer water tend to sink? or rather, float?

        Basically your questions just don’t matter, we know the Oceans have a conveyor, and it’s feed by sinking Arctic waters, and any warm water that gets mixed in will be taken into the deep. Now if you’re suggesting the Conveyor has stopped, which I think would have made the news.
        Let me ask you, do you think all that Arctic ice is melting from warm air or warm water? I think it’s been proven it’s from water warm water, and it’s obvious that more ice is melted than in the past.
        Here’s a picture with temps.

    • I don’t get how ignorant people always like to post their ignorance for everybody to see so here is a quickie – about 200 W/m^2 of energy in the visible bands go into the top 100 meters of the ocean; you also have around 200 W/m^2 as infrared back-radiation (but that indeed does not go deep); overall also on the order of 399 W/m^2 goes out of the ocean, the difference being in the order of 1 W/m^2 which is left in the first stage in the top 100 meters of the ocean; from that place it moves around the entire ocean. Not getting that visible radiation first goes into the ocean is not skepticism, is denial of the basic laws of physics.

    • Alex (@USthermophysics) | July 22, 2014 at 4:48 pm | Reply
      … There is no mechanism for the transfer of heat from the GHG-postulated source location in the atmosphere to the deep ocean that bypasses means to readily observe it.

      #################

      I can think of one. The heat only has to be transferred at a faster rate through the middle layer. Under this scenario, the middle layer doesn’t accumulate additional heat, but the lower layer does. To support this hypothesis though, we would have to first find a heat “highway” from upper to lower ocean and then demonstrate that the velocity of this current was increasing.

      As far as the highway itself goes, I’ll propose the following. In the tropics the heat is pushed along the surface westward until it runs into the continental boundary. The heat then moves poleward and begins to slowly sink. Once the heat reaches the mid-latitudes it runs into the westerlies and is transported eastward, continuing to slowly sink. Eventually the heat is transported to an intermediate water formation where it sinks to the deep and is fully diffused.

      I’m not an oceanographer, but based upon some computations I did of ARGO data, I believe this picture has at least some merit:

      https://sites.google.com/site/climateadj/argo-animations

      • AJ, if true then the surface waters must pass down below 700m, and quite rapidly too. Which means that they take away the surface that has been talking to atmospheric CO2, which means that CO2 is efficiently diluted by the whole of the oceans, not just the upper surface, which means we have no worries.

      • DocMartyn commented

        AJ, if true then the surface waters must pass down below 700m, and quite rapidly too. Which means that they take away the surface that has been talking to atmospheric CO2, which means that CO2 is efficiently diluted by the whole of the oceans, not just the upper surface, which means we have no worries.

        Cold water sucks up Co2, and Arctic cold water heads directly into deep cold water.

        That water can hold ~2,000 times the entire carbon cycle.

      • Doc, I’m thinking that a relatively small change in velocity can have a large impact on the rate of energy transfer. Say the “heat highway” in the Southern Pacific is 2000km wide x 1km deep, runs 1C warmer than surrounding waters and had a baseline velocity of 5cm/sec. It probably wouldn’t take much of a change in velocity to produce a 1 Hiroshima/sec increase in energy uptake. All I’m suggesting is that there might be a mechanism by which heat could be transferred from surface to the deep without being noticed in the mid-layer. Would we notice a small change in velocity?

        If you allow me to speculate further, this could also help explain the apparent 60yr cycle. Assuming that the rate of uptake is an underdamped system, this would be seen in cyclical SST behavior. If this were the case, then I would guess that the case for CAGW is diminished. We would still have AGW, but it would be more in line with the ~60yr average from say 1950 to today than the 30yr average between say 1975-2005.

        I haven’t thought about how this would relate to co2 uptake. Interesting subject I’m sure.

      • AJ, ” to produce a 1 Hiroshima/sec increase in energy uptake.”

        Hiroshima is so 20th century we should try Solandra/sec

      • Cap’n… Interesting. What was the capacity that Solyndra produced before going bust?

      • AJ, Only 350 mega Watts per year but that would be about 1 x 10^12 Watt/hr per year of “ideal” installed production.

    • “Green house gasses cannot alter the flux of energy from a surface, they are postulated to only alter the rate of back radiation.”
      —-
      The vast majority of climate related energy is stored not in a surface, but in the great mass of the ocean. In thermodynamic terms, the net flow of energy is from ocean to space via the atmosphere. The GH composition of the atmosphere controls the rate of that energy flow over the long-term. Increase the GH gas concentrations and the rate of energy flow from ocean to atmosphere to space slows down with the net result that the oceans warm, assuming of course that solar input to the ocean remains roughly constant.

  4. The sequestration was conjecture. The evidence is just not forthcoming to support it.

  5. “The deep layers contain twice as much heat as the upper 100 meters, and overall exhibit a clear cooling trend for the past 2 decades”

    I must admit that I have no idea what this means; there is a hell of a lot more than twice as much ‘heat’ in the deep oceans as the upper 100 meters.

    The ‘cold’ of the deep oceans comes from the cold, dense brines that form in the polar regions, which in turn came from the hot, salty brines of the equator. The change in the amount of cold brines that have sunk over the last decade have not going to affected the heat content very much at all; the volume differences are just too great.

    • Heat might be defined as degrees above -2.0 C.

      • Do you, or anyone else, know how much specific heat capacity of water is altered by pressure?

      • Interesting question. Water trivia:

        http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18473-the-many-mysteries-of-water.html#.U87tGfldWFU

        Specific heat capacity is at a minimum at 35 °C but increases as the temperature falls or rises, whereas the heat capacity of most other liquids rises continuously with temperature.
        Explanation: Between 0 and 35 °C, increasing the temperature steadily removes regions of ordered, tetrahedral structure, reducing water’s ability to absorb heat. Above 35 °C, so few of the tetrahedral regions are left that water behaves like a regular liquid.

      • Ragnaar, this is the reason why core body temperatures are just above 36 degrees; this is the point where it is easiest to gain or lose heat.

      • Nature is an amazing thing.

      • Interesting concept to state heat is degrees above -2 degrees C…..I noticed you were discussing heat capacities….one interesting point you may wish to consider is water’s behavior as heat is added to it under pressure. The water’s specific volume response to added heat increases as the pressure increases. This means that a joule added to water of x salinity at y pressure increases the water volume more than a joule added at y/2 pressure. Look at the charts, they have very interesting shapes.

        Thus it’s within the realm of possibility that sea level will rise when surface temperature is steady when a temperature (or energy) transient is moving deeper into the ocean (salinity also factors into this, of course). Such transients are present whenever the surface temperature changes, and they can last for thousands if years before they are dampened.

        Anyway, that’s what I studied in physical oceanography over 40 years ago. Maybe that stuff has become obsolete.

      • Oh, and in the Arctic a lot of the warm surface water comes from rivers which flow really hard after the ice break up. That water is fresh, and muddy. I’ve seen myself the Ob river flow at high speed, it can be over 10 km wide loaded with fine sediment, in July and August all the snow melts and suddenly it breaks out after the ice jam at the river mouth breaks down. This is the reason why there are so few bridges built over Siberian rivers. The water and the ice blocks wipe everything out.

    • Doc,
      Are you sure that melt waters Don’t have the volume to add heat to the deep oceans?

      • density governs downward flux. Melt waters are cold, but what about the salinity?

      • DocMartyn commented

        density governs downward flux. Melt waters are cold, but what about the salinity?

        The Arctic is the source of the cold water entering the Ocean Conveyor. We know the Arctic ice has melted more than usual (by ice extent), so that could imply that the water entering the Arctic is warmer than normal, which leave open the possibility the water entering the conveyor has a little more heat in it.

        http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&docid=KNpcsxtqWCU2JM&tbnid=b47JUOeOZ10nDM:&ved=0CAUQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Ftheresilientearth.com%2F%3Fq%3Dcontent%2Focean-conveyor-belt-confounds-climate-science&ei=N7XPU4CWKoi2yATu3ICYAw&bvm=bv.71667212,d.aWw&psig=AFQjCNFEqkGZQG5s-6LS6u1CuBjXF6L-Lg&ust=1406207654280125

        Ian H commented

        Good Luck detecting any difference in the temperature of melt water. It is called melt water for a reason. Any evidence to back up this weird ad hoc explanation? Of course not! You just made it up.

        Look at the image, it’s entirely possible the water sinking is warmer than normal.
        And of course I made it up, but there’s at least it’s a physical mechanism, as oppose to people wondering how tropical surface water are somehow skipping the mid layers to warm the deep ocean. This is how it could be done without magic.

      • Mi Cro, when ice forms from salt water one gets water-ice and cold saline; the water-ice is low density and floats and the cold brine is dense and sinks.
        When you melt sea ice, the surrounding brines become less saline and less dense than they were.
        The injected cold water brines are generated during the cooling and not on melting of sea ice.

      • DocMartyn commented

        When you melt sea ice, the surrounding brines become less saline and less dense than they were.
        The injected cold water brines are generated during the cooling and not on melting of sea ice.

        I’m not arguing any of this, I’m just saying there is a lot of water feeding the conveyor, and it goes right straight into the deep, and if the deep is warming, there’s only one way it’s getting there, and it wouldn’t be hard to add some water water into the mix.

        This is the only physical way surface heat can find it’s way into the deep. All other ways are non-sense.

      • water water

        That’s suppose to be

        warm water

        I sure wish I could edit my posts :)
        As well as to be able to delete posts that end up in the wrong place!

      • Melt water volume may affect deep ocean temp. Could increasing melt volume be contributing to the deep ocean heat decline?

      • aaron commented

        Melt water volume may affect deep ocean temp. Could increasing melt volume be contributing to the deep ocean heat decline?

        One of about a half million legitimate questions that we just don’t have the data to make a precise estimate for. Well unless you don’t mind making it up from scraps.

        Magic 8ball says “Try again later”

  6. I’m curious as to what this paper does to R Gates Human Carbon Volcano meme. He’s sure that the oceans are going to boil.

    • Timg56

      I shouldn’t think that Fan will be very happy either.

      I have the popcorn ready.
      Tonyb

    • R Gates, amusingly known as the “skeptical warmist,” won’t miss a beat.

    • The Human Carbon Volcano meme is agnostic as to model studies of ocean heat content. The HCV is a brilliant dynamical description of the massive transfer of carbon from lithosphere to atmosphere and ocean as a result of human activities– mainly fossil fuel burning.

    • R.Gates, amusingly known as the human carbon volcanologist.

  7. I am curious. American Nuclear Submarines of the Seawolf class have a reported dive depth of 1600 ft and a theoretical crush depth of 2400 feet.
    As these submarines have prolonged underwater capability using entrained sea water for human consumption and cooling excess heat from their nuclear reactors, careful attention to and recording of intake water temperatures would seem a natural part of shipboard priorities.

    These submarines operate in many locations from pole to pole, that’s a lot of territory that can be explored and information gathered.

    Query: where might this water intake water temperature data be available.? I am sure that Trenberth would love to have an idea about the 700 to 300 meter depth temperatures. Or, maybe, as a governmental employee, he already has this information, and the temperature data does not support his speculative position.

    Enquiring Minds Want To Know.

  8. If I read Figures 18 & 19 in the paper correctly, they show heat storage in the 0-2000 m ocean layer over 1992-2012 to have been lower than per other estimates (Levitus 2012, Lyman & Johnson 2014 and the Balmethseda 2013 model-based “reanalysis” – which always looked dubious) to be too high by a factor of several times. If correct, that implies climate sensitivity must be closer to TCR, and hence lower, than previously thought, .

    • ==> “Direct determination of changes in oceanic heat content over the last 20 years are not in conflict with estimates of the radiative forcing,…”

      • Steven Mosher

        joshua

        radiative forcing is NOT the same thing as sensitivity
        sensitivity is the gain.
        nic Lewis is right.
        you are wrong’
        go bite judiths ankle

      • ==> “you are wrong’”

        I didn’t equate sensitivity and radiative forcing.
        I didn’t say that Nic was wrong.

        Try again.

      • If only Mike could tweet about ankle biting instead. That alone could improve scientific progress.

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua

        Then you posted a comment utterly unrelated to Nic’s comment

        A) if you thought the quote was relevant you are wrong
        B) if you posted an irrelevant comment it is more of the same Joshua

        I gave you the benefit of the doubt.

        my bad.

        you still cant engage the science

    • That is how I read the paper also, when Steele pointed it out. But the bigger contribution IMO was the ‘new’ ocean heat uncertainty discussion that, for example, Trenberth ignored in Balmaseda.

      • Mi Cro, the oldest ice in Antarctica is about 1.5 million years, so about 4.5 million for a full cycle of all the reservoirs

    • Steven Mosher

      Nic how low does OHC have to be before we can eliminate the upper tail

      or shrink it.

      It would seem to me that improved observation of OHC could help us limit the uncertainty in sensitivity.

      one could even monetize the uncertainty

      • Leonard Weinstein

        The problem with claiming that you can eliminate the tail or limit uncertainty is that the basic assumption was made that the adjusted temperatures increase the last 60 or so years was mainly due to AGW, not natural long period variation (recovery from LIA, solar variation, natural variation). I have no problem with a conditional hypothesis, just not an absolute claim. I see no physical mechanism that would all of a sudden turn on and start storing energy in the oceans, that was not previously on the entire Holocene, and slow but on average continual but varying sea level rise has been recorded over that period. The negative growth due to the LIA (possibly reduced solar insolation) and positive growth the last century, and last several years of slowing support that.

      • Steven Mosher

        (recovery from LIA, solar variation, natural variation).

        1. there is no trend in TSI
        2. ‘recovery’ from LIA is not a physical cause
        3. natural variation is not a physical cause.

      • internal variability on interannual to multidecadal to multicentennial timescales is not necessarily directly associated with external forcing on those same time scales.

      • curryja commented on

        internal variability on interannual to multidecadal to multicentennial timescales is not necessarily directly associated with external forcing on those same time scales.

        Does anyone know how long it takes a water molecule do one loop of the conveyor?

      • I suspect internal variability and variable external forcing acting on all those time scales.
        =================

    • Mi Cro,
      Ocean conveyor belt takes on the order of 1,000 years per loop, I will look for a more specific reference but a way long time. Plus going for 2* C to 2.01 * C won’t impact the climate much no matter what Trenbeth calculates.
      Scott

  9. nottawa rafter

    Steele’s post says Wunsch and Heimbach(2014) “humbly admit”…..
    That is the hook for me. When more climate scientists start humbly admitting anything, I will start paying more attention. Good for them. Every long journey starts with a few baby steps. Good on ya’.

  10. ‘Comparisons of global steric height trends based on different gridded fields of Argo in situ measurements show a range of 0–1mm/yr which can be lead back to data handling and climatology uncertainties. Our results show that GOIs derived from the Argo measurements are ideally suitable to monitor the state of the global ocean, especially after November 2007, i.e. when Argo sampling was 100% complete. They also show that there is significant interannual global variability at global scale, especially for global OFC. Before the end of 2007, error bars are too large to deliver robust short-term trends of GOIs and thus an interpretation in terms of long-term climate signals are still questionable, especially since
    uncertainties due to interannual fluctuations are not included in our error estimation.’ file:///C:/Users/Robert/Documents/Technical/Climate/von%20schuckmann%20and%20le%20troan.pdf

    It has been evident for some time that even Argo data handling inconsistencies meant that the uncertainty was greater than the trend being measured.

    ‘The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Earth radiation budget (ERB) is determined from the difference between how much energy is absorbed and emitted by the planet. Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.’ http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/Loeb_et_al_ISSI_Surv_Geophys_2012.pdf

    Now if only we could get past this weird idea of a fixed radiative imbalance to something rational.

  11. The Temperature of Earth has been in a well bounded cycle, with the same set point that turns cooling on and off and with the same upper and lower bounds.

    The Oceans have a huge amount of water and the Atmosphere has a lot of Water Vapor and Clouds and there is a lot of ice on land and there is a lot of ice on water.

    Water, in all of its states, does regulate the Temperature of Earth.

    The Oceans operate in the same bounds that they have operated in for the past ten thousand years. Nothing measurable is out of bounds, other than the CO2 and nothing is following CO2 out of bounds, except, Green things are growing better with less water and that is wonderful news. The oceans are doing the same as they have done for ten thousand years. No actual data shows different.

    Climate Model output has shown no skill in forecasting anything.

    Alarmism is based on the flawed forecasts.

    Give it up. It is worse than just useless.

  12. Hi Judith: Excellent post on an excellent post about an excellent paper.

    I’m sure the following sentence from Wunsch and Heimbach (2014) will be quoted here many times:
    “Direct determination of changes in oceanic heat content over the last 20 years are not in conflict with estimates of the radiative forcing, but the uncertainties remain too large to rationalize e.g., the apparent ‘pause’ in warming.”

    What they failed to mention was that the changes in oceanic heat content over the last 20 years are also not in conflict with natural variability.

    Cheers

    • ‘ Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ AR4 3.4.4.1

      In fact confirmation from three sources independently that natural variation dominated 1976/1998 warming – but only if it is real . No – that can’t be right.

  13. “Most interesting is the observed cooling throughout the upper 700 meters of the Arctic. There have been 2 competing explanations for the unusually warm Arctic air temperature that heavily weights the global average. CO2 driven hypotheses argue global warming has reduced polar sea ice that previously reflected sunlight, and now the exposed dark waters are absorbing more heat and raising water and air temperatures. But clearly a cooling upper Arctic Ocean suggests any absorbed heat is insignificant. Despite greater inflows of warm Atlantic water, declining heat content of the upper 700 meters supports the competing hypothesis that warmer Arctic air temperatures are, at least in part, the result of increased ventilation of heat that was previously trapped by a thick insulating ice cover.”

    So rather than a uniform ocean heat advance North to the Arctic, the Arctic ocean instead cools, at least the upper 700 meters. That’s how a stable planet is put together.

    We’ve been told the polar regions will react more. In this case more in the negative feedback direction. The positive feedback Arctic albedo assumption needs to be examined. With retreating ice, perhaps the cycle speeds up. The Arctic ocean takes in more solar, yet can cool. Seems to be another example of the oceans giving off heat to the atmosphere.

    • Open water at the Arctic will radiate more heat into space than will ice.

      • DocMartyn, “Open water at the Arctic will radiate more heat into space than will ice.”

        It is better to say that open arctic waters lose more heat since winds play a huge factor in heat loss and open water area.

  14. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    FOMD’s ever-rational heart is gladdened that here on Climate Etc there is an evident consensus that the Earth’s shallow oceanic waters [0-2000 m] are heating without pause or evident bound.

    As for the deep oceans, soon enough DEEP NINJA and/or b>DEEP ARGO will provide answers.

    “It may be that the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong – but that’s the way to bet.”
       — Damon Runyon

    Conclusion  The smart-money *ALREADY* has the James Hansen’s energy-balance climate-change worldview as the odds-on scientific favorite.

    And what with warming oceans, melting ice-caps, rising sea-levels, and the ending of the temperature “pause” … those odds just keep on getting better-and-better, eh Climate Etc readers?

    The smart-money definitely appreciates *THAT*!

    That’s why, nowadays, “the smart money” includes the world’s religious leaders, political leaders, business leaders, entrepreneurs, conservationists, mountaineers, outdoors folks, farmers, mathematicians, engineers, young scientists, and young job-seeking voters!

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • ‘and young job-seeking voters!’

      Obama loves young job-seekers so much that he has produced millions of them.

    • Steven Mosher

      “Conclusion The smart-money *ALREADY* has the James Hansen’s energy-balance climate-change worldview as the odds-on scientific favorite.”

      yep. now we only need to spend the dollars on OBSERVATION instead of GCMs.. balance that money out I mean

      • Power is not listening to that. The conversation has moved on,
        Remember?

      • Unfortunately Mosher, I don’t see a day when that much needed balance will happen.

      • Steven Mosher

        think about it.

        Imagine a republican party that focused the discussion on the science we need to do ( measure OHC) rather than saying stupid stuff about c02 is a trace gas.

      • Saying CO2 is a trace gas is not stupid. It is the truth. Perhaps you meant that they are saying it is irrelevant due to its concentration?

      • Imagine a republican party that focused the discussion on the science we need to do ( measure OHC) rather than saying stupid stuff about c02 is a trace gas.

        And they could steer the research grants towards their corporate cronies. And justify it to local voters as local jobs.

    • I saw James Hansen give a talk, and he didn’t sound very convincing.

      However, I was impressed he didn’t do a mike’s trick, stayed on the level and hmentioned the energy uptake by the ocean was about 0.6 to 0.7 watts per m2 (I forget the exact figure). I worked that figure to be about 0.5 watts per m2 using pencil and paper. So I tend to think in that area he’s fine and not a fibber like some of the others. However, since you know so much about betting and all, how is that figure supposed to climb to 8.5 watts per m2 by 2100? Are you really betting on that figure being feasible?

      Lately I’ve been reading and thinking more about the use of propaganda in human training and brainwashing. And I find Global warming is an interesting subject to see how it is done, plus it’s definitely less intense than the war in Gaza, isn’t it? So, I’m really interested on how each of you feels about that 8.5 and where/when and how you became convinced it was an acceptable figure.

  15. Don Monfort

    The SkS monkeys are going to have to recalibrate their Hiroshima bomb thingy.

    • I suggested to Dana he changed to earthquakes per second. Most of us have never been vaporized by an atomic weapon. But we have experienced earthquakes. On the other hand the gadget could use heretics burned at the stake per second. This would allow the use of pseudo scientific (and really scary) units such as the miliheretic (mHC), the centiheretic (cHC), and on all the way to the teraheretic (THC).

  16. In my theoretical climate model (underlined above) I had assumed that 30 years was a reasonable time for significant heat transfer between troposphere and ocean depths. Because the temperature profile of a column of water is set by its density from the base (including dissolved solids like salt), small differences in base temperature would affect the temperature of the entire column. right up to the surface. At some point closer to the surface, water temperature should be more influenced by tropospheric temperature than the depths of the oceans. Putting these ideas together with the known temperature rise of 0.5C between 1910 and 1940, the collapse of temperature after 1940 and it took to 1980 to regain the 1940 temperature all pointed to the global rise of 1970 t0 1997 being an ocean delayed version of the 1910 to 1940 rise. That is my conclusion. Because the 1910 to 1940 rise was a one off event, then the 1970 to 1997 rise should also be a one off event.

  17. “deep ocean heating” was just another of long series of distracting abstracts that are currently unproven but essential to the other main unproven abstraction that human co2 is warming the Earth. If one meme is failing in observation you simply add a fresh meme with nearly infinite uncertainty and slam your fist on the table that you are “scientist” in the mainstream.

    A compliant media and academia who support the underlying political goal of climate science will accommodate.

  18. stevefitzpatrick

    Wunch is smart, experienced and fearless. His direct and scathing critique of Balmaseda is long overdue. Yes, the oceans are accumulating heat. No, the rate of ocean heating does not reasonably explain ‘the pause’. Trenberth is just going to have to find a different style of arm wave….. or accept that climate sensitivity is near the low end of the IPCC range.

    Alternatively, he could just declare victory and retire (a la Jim Hansen) which is probably the most graceful exit he could possibly have. If he hangs around too long, the he is only going to look worse.

  19. One could say “context of uncertainty”. But I’d skip the Byzantine court language and just say “dunno yet”. It’s not like there’s an emperor who’s going to chop your head off if you just say things right out.

    • Oh Moso you are so wrong yet again. It is the modern day equivalent of being excommunicated. You may as well be dead. The heathen equivalent is being thrown out of the Northern Rivers Region Weed Growers Association.

      • I’m not some Northern Rivers hippie. (I’m a Mid-coast redneck, okay?)

      • Moso is President of the NRRWGA. Rumour has it that the membership list strongly resembles a purlioned Cockroach – a minor, local and especially poorly performed football team – supporters list.

        The precautionary principle suggests that you wouldn’t join and club that would have Moso as a member.

  20. This is an interesting paper as much for its admission of profound ignorance and transparent honesty. However, I note that while they say there is not good enough data to tell if their estimate is “right,” perhaps there is enough to show that Trenberth is wrong. That would be an interesting thing to dig into.

    I also second Nic’s question about the implications for sensitivity.

    • Steven Mosher

      I suspect nic is turning the crank as we speak.

    • Hansen 2005 1993-2003 0.86 +/- 0.12
      Lyman 2010 1993-2008 0.64 +/- 0.11
      von Schuckmann 2011 2005-2010 0.54 +/- 0.1
      Wunsch 2014 1992-2011 0.2 +/- 0.1

      Think of the estimates as income or added net worth in billions of dollars. If Wunsch is even close, we have an accounting disaster, with the auditors, the financial officers, and the board of directors being sued. This is not to detract from anyone’s work. I don’t think the data yet allows a good enough accounting of the OHC.

      • When you are dealing with deeper water, you are dealing with a longer averaging period coming into the OHC trend. This 0.2 W/m2 comes from increasing the effective averaging time.

  21. This shows that the ocean heat content responds not only to current trends in forcing, but also to those centuries ago. The deep layer cooling would indicate a past negative forcing, as they show, which may come from the climate trend into the LIA. As such the total OHC change not only measures current forcing, but is going to be lowered by also including this long-term negative forcing, which is exhibited by this deep-ocean cooling in their model. Focusing on upper layers would seem more appropriate if you want to look at more recent forcing changes, and they have detected net warming in the faster-responding areas in the Atlantic where this would be expected. It is interesting, if speculative.

    • And an accounting problem is understanding and explaining that something will not be available at the surface for 1000 years. One might say the cashflow is at the ocean surfaces. If we can’t get our hands on something because it 1000 years out…

      Also, if an accountant can’t balance the books, 95 times out of 100, they’ll say the difference is in the oceans.

      • Here’s what I wanted to say:
        “So it remains unclear if and how Trenberth’s “missing heat” has sunk to the deep ocean… As Dr. Wunsch had warned earlier, “Convenient assumptions should not be turned prematurely into ‘facts’…”

        A clear distinction between an assumption and a fact.

      • I will be interested in reading what those who have postulated that the missing heat is in the deep oceans have to say. If indeed they say anything.

      • Thomas

        Sometimes the words ‘I really don’t know’ uttered by climate scientists would be much more realistic than the constant claims to almost absolute certainties that are their usual public claims.

        It seems to me this paper is rather more circumspect than most and it ties into this that I posted here a couple of months ago. Please also follow the link to RGates)

        ——- ——– —-

        I attended the evening public conference on climate change at Exeter University. It was attended by around 600 people and followed on from a two day session (which I didn’t attend) which consisted of scientists, Ngo’s, Govt reps, students and many from the Met Office-who have a close association with Exeter University, being only a mile away and sponsoring a ‘climate’ chair.

        In the Hall were about 20 related stands from other Universities and from industry. There was one from a lesser University which spelt out the winners and losers if the temperatures rose 2 or 4 or 6 degrees Centigrade. When I asked where the option was for cooling, the lady metaphorically backed away, made the sign of the cross and sprinkled holy water over me….

        It was overwhelmingly all concerned with toeing the consensus line, with the audience-about half were students- urging further political activity to prevent ‘climate catastrophe’, expected a week next Tuesday…

        Here are the key note speakers for the 2 day conference;

        http://www.exeter.ac.uk/climate2014/programmeandspeakers/

        The panel for the evening Q and A consisted of Prof Chris Field, Prof Peter Cox, Prof Andy Challinor, Dr Richard Jones, Prof Christine Williams and Prof Thomas Stocker

        I was allowed to ask my question on natural variability but got a poor answer (see attached link to RGates)

        http://judithcurry.com/2014/05/16/reflections-on-bengtsson-and-the-gwpf/#comment-558243

        Prof Stocker gave an interesting reply concerning ocean heat content (also in this comment link)

        Obviously the uncertainties on measurement of ocean heat are very much greater than is normally publicly stated. You may remember that I commented to you (Judith) that when I was reviewing the draft of AR5 that I complained that the IPCC refused 3 times to give me a reference to back up their stated assertion that the abyssal depths were well known to be warming. Apart from Purkiss (a very limited study) there appears to be no research at all to back up this claim and this seems to have been admitted to by Prof Stocker.

        Afterwards I was approached by Prof Richard Betts of the Met Office who had been a speaker earlier in the day. He was very friendly and interested in natural variability. Having also had cordial talks with John Kennedy previously, I suspect there is far more scepticism in the Met Office ranks than is realised, although the top bosses are ardent believers.

        Incidentally, with a couple of exceptions I thought the speakers quite poor. They mumbled, stumbled, gabbled, lost their place, failed to have a understandable narrative and often used indifferent graphics.

        the obvious fact is that there is far more we DON’T know about the climate than we DO know.

        ——- ——-

        tonyb

      • tony b,

        ‘ … the worst
        Are full of passionate intensity ‘
        (and certainty. )

        H/t W.B Yeats.

    • “This shows that the ocean heat content responds not only to current trends in forcing, but also to those centuries ago.”
      ——
      Indeed, and this article;

      http://www.image.ucar.edu/idag/Papers/Gleckler_Krakatoa.pdf

      Speaks to this long memory and is especially important when thinking about what may be going on in the deeper ocean.

      • R. Gates, “Speaks to this long memory and is especially important when thinking about what may be going on in the deeper ocean.”

        Ah, but there is a rub. From the roughly 1225 AD mega-volcano with plenty of extra volcanic activity to the depths of the LIA around 1700 AD would produce a “long memory” that could last to the present and beyond. That recovery would be called a long term persistence that is categorically denied by the pohbahcy.

      • “Ah, but there is a rub. From the roughly 1225 AD mega-volcano with plenty of extra volcanic activity to the depths of the LIA around 1700 AD would produce a “long memory” that could last to the present and beyond.”
        ——
        The article on Krakatoa is interesting in that it does attempt to quantify the speed at which cooling (or warming) might be transmitted to abyssal depths. It also of course quantifies how a single large volcano can impact climate far longer than just a few years via ocean (and sea ice) memory and thermal inertia feedback effects.

        In general, while the uncertainty is large and geographic differences abound, the probability is far higher than not that there has been net ocean warming at abyssal levels over the past several decades as the cooling effects of Krakatoa have been overcome by warming from the rapidly increasing GH gas concentrations.

      • R. Gates, “In general, while the uncertainty is large and geographic differences abound, the probability is far higher than not that there has been net ocean warming at abyssal levels over the past several decades as the cooling effects of Krakatoa have been overcome by warming from the rapidly increasing GH gas concentrations.”

        Since the basic as in no feedback impact of a doubling of CO2 isn’t as uncertain, it should be considered when estimating total impact. That implies that a large portion, about 50% of the warming from ~1700 is not CO2 related and when you include LTP in the energy model estimates actual climate “sensitivity” is very close to the no feedback estimate.

        I believe there is yet another recent paper finding “sensitivity” about 1.0 C per doubling. Using Occam’s Razor, I believe the “where did we screw up” initial step needs to be revisited.

      • maksimovich

        the probability is far higher than not that there has been net ocean warming at abyssal levels over the past several decades as the cooling effects of Krakatoa have been overcome by warming from the rapidly increasing GH gas concentrations.”

        Probability is high that Gates has little understanding of the known problems with the Krakatoa excursion.

        Firstly the models overestimate the cooling,as compared with the observations (Stenchikov et al., 2006) arguments such that it was a trigger for El nino (Mann) are incorrect as El Nino has started prior.

        The most reasonable explanation provided is the injection of water vapour into the stratosphere ( Joshi and Jones 2009)

        We describe a novel mechanism that can significantly lower the amplitude of the climatic response to certain large volcanic eruptions and examine its impact with a coupled ocean-atmosphere climate model. If sufficiently large amounts of water vapour enter the stratosphere, a climatically significant amount of water vapour can be left over in the lower stratosphere after the eruption, even after sulphate aerosol formation. This excess stratospheric humidity
        warms the tropospheric climate, and acts to balance the climatic cooling induced by the volcanic aerosol, especially because the humidity anomaly lasts for a period that is longer than the residence time of aerosol in the stratosphere. In particular, northern hemisphere high latitude cooling is reduced in magnitude. We discuss this mechanism in the context of the discrepancy between the observed and modelled cooling following the Krakatau eruption in 1883.

        http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/9/6109/2009/acp-9-6109-2009.pdf

        The other mechanism is the increase in depth in the sunda straits which increased the amount of outflow from the Indonesian warmpool following the removal of Krakatau ,which would have moderated sea temperatures until the early 1930′s.

    • Curious George

      “This shows that the ocean heat content responds not only to current trends in forcing, but also to those centuries ago.”

      Very likely. How do models represent it?

  22. If you want to look at a log of diagrams of OHC, here’s your link from a very good source:

    http://www.clivar.org/sites/default/files/documents/gsop/DISCUSSION_II_LOEB.pdf

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  25. Just to be clear here:

    - Wunsch 2014 finds a warming in the top 2000m which is at the absolute lowest level still compatible with all the other studies on the subject and with the direct measurements

    - Wunsch 2014 finds major cooling below 2000m which is the complete opposite of what all other studies in the field have found; the cooling seems to be so big that it cancels half of the energy in the warming of the top 2000m; the paper does not seem to be surprised at the complete lack of any physical mechanism to explain that

    - Wunsch 2014 also hints that the energy change that it finds might be ” in accord with the global mean sea level contribution portion calculated by Ponte (2012) and consistent with the estimate of Kouketsu et al. (2011)”, but that hint is a lie, their total estimate is completely incompatible with both of the papers above

    - to place things into context, for the period discussed in Wunsch 2014 (19 years) the thermosteric contribution to sea level rise (on which all the papers on the subject show good agreement) is in the range of 10-15 mm; the energy found by Wunsch 2014 would only account for at most on the order of 1-3 mm of that thermosteric sea level rise, and the difference is outside of the error margins in every single one of the studies on the subject.

    • This is what I noticed.

      Trenberth’s layers:

      0 to 300 meters
      300 to 700 meters
      700 meters to bottom

      That looks like 0 to bottom.

      These are Wunsch’s layers:

      0 to 100 meters
      0 to 700 meters
      2000 meters to bottom
      3600 meters to bottom

      That looks like 0 to 700 meters, and 2000 meters to bottom. What became of 700 meters to 2000 meters?

    • Good question. I didn’t find a lot about sea level rise in the paper. It seems to me that there was about 60 mm of rise over their time frame.

      • So of the 1300 missing meters, you’ve found 60 mm.:)

        I hate the terminology. Deep ocean means nothing. It is no more specific than far out, man.

      • Ragnaar commented

        Good question. I didn’t find a lot about sea level rise in the paper. It seems to me that there was about 60 mm of rise over their time frame.

        A rough calculation shows that the upper 300 meter warming ~.6C would cover all the Sea Level increase iirc since 1980.

      • But of the 60 mm rise, some of it is Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet lose

      • Ragnaar commented

        But of the 60 mm rise, some of it is Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet lose

        Unless approximately the same amount evaporates out.
        Also my calculation was scribbling on a single page (well 2), strictly a rough estimate. But I do think it’s near enough for this discussion.

  26. Fred Colbourne

    “Unlike the upper layers, which are dominated by the annual cycle of heating and cooling, they argue that deep ocean trends must be viewed as part of the ocean’s long term memory which is still responding to “meteorological forcing of decades to thousands of years ago””

    So the oceans can be read like rock strata are read by boreholes, like in this sample paper, Inference of past climate from borehole temperature data using Bayesian Reversible Jump Markov chain Monte Carlo . Peter O. Hopcroft, Kerry Gallagher and Chris C. Pain, Geophys. J. Int. (2007) 171 (3): 1430-1439.

    I understand that Geophysicists have been using this technique for a very long time.

  27. I found this information interesting:
    Carl Wunsch was the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physical Oceanography at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, until he retired in 2013. Wikipedia

    • It seems that most scientists who write differently from mainstream climate science are retired? Is this something that we should be taking some notice of? Nothing related to tenure and ongoing funding perhaps? Judith should know.

      • You’re late to the party, Peter. The implications are obvious, except to the disingenuous warmists who like to pretend the reason is

        A: They’re all senile
        and/or
        B: They’re too old to care about the younger generation

      • Peter – perhaps it’s more to do with them not being aware of latest developments as they don’t mingle with colleagues the way younger scientists do?

      • It appears that Lindzen and Wunsch, both retired MIT professors, might have similar views regarding the complexity of the climate and the uncertainties involved.

      • nottawa rafter

        me on
        If you are facing critical surgery, who would you rather be doing it, a doctor just finishing his residency or an experienced surgeon who learned from making mistakes on other people?

      • This is one reason the doctor analogy fails so badly in the debate. Doctors bury their mistakes. Alarmist climatologists, with their disdain for observations, fail to recognize their mistakes.
        ==============

      • Peter -

        Wunsch retired in 2013. He has been expressing views on climate change for far longer than that. Do you think that there was some sort of dramatic shift in his views expressed pre- and post-retirement?

        Trying to extrapolate from the fact of his retirement seems weak, IMO: a bias in search of confirmation.

      • Older and retired professors not being aware of the latest developments? They are not mingling enough with colleagues? Absurd on both counts! Yet another unfounded hypothesis!

      • Joshua: “A bias in search of confirmation.”

        Would have more credibility Josh, if you hadn’t raised this very thing to a kind of performance art.

      • We’ve had someone on here finding causality from indifference to the future (because of increased age, implying proximity to dying) for views of scientists on climate change. No more plausible, IMO, than attribution of causality to retirement.

        But there does seem to be something of an association with age. Jumping from that to a causal relationship to retirement would seem to me to require some kind of evidence. Does someone have evidence of Wunsch’s expressed views changing post-retirement? You know, like on eff’n smidgeon of evidence?

        You know, if someone were an honest-go-god skeptic, that is.

    • Joshie, are you trying to say that climate scientists don’t put their career advancement at risk by straying from the consensus reservation? Are you deaf, dummm and blind?

      The comment by me:

      “Peter – perhaps it’s more to do with them not being aware of latest developments as they don’t mingle with colleagues the way younger scientists do?”

      That’s a slam we have heard from alarmists directed at the mature scientists, who are skeptical of the consensus generated latest developments. They aren’t with it. Time has passed them by. Is me showing some alarmist bias, joshie?

      Please try to keep your reply (the usual bloviating tripe) under 400 words.

  28. “Settled science” wouldn’t have to hang on the thread of speculation about “deep ocean heat” (DOH).

    Cwon’s primary rule confirmed (again); climate science is defined by political objectives not actual “science”. DOH is a talking point as is human co2 warming the earth. It doesn’t take long to find huge unknowns that could account for slight climate changes;

    A. Undefined carbon cycle or human co2 absorption rates? Check, no one knows. Human co2 retention in the atmosphere is dogma not science. DOH is an emulation of this fraud, facts are not in evidence in both cases.

    B. Missing heat? What if was never there? Another agenda assumption to start with.

  29. water water

    That’s suppose to be

    warm water

    I sure wish I could edit my posts :)

    • Real But Exaggerated

      “And indeed, deep borehole data strongly affirm that global warming is real, serious, sustained, and accelerating.”

      And apparently started well before Watt’s steam engine.

  30. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Question  If global warming shows up (eventually) in deep-ocean heat content, then shouldn’t global warming *ALSO* show up (eventually) in deep land boreholes?

    Answer  Yes. And indeed, deep borehole data strongly affirm that global warming is real, serious, sustained, and accelerating.

    Conclusion  The energy-balance climate-change worldview is doubly affirmed, both by ocean-data and by land-data.

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Real But Exaggerated

      “And indeed, deep borehole data strongly affirm that global warming is real, serious, sustained, and accelerating.”

      And apparently started well before Watt’s steam engine.

      • Real

        The Newcomen steam engine in 1712 preceded that of Watts

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newcomen_atmospheric_engine

        It can be seen working to this day in my neighbouring town.

        However temperatures had been rising from before that as I demonstrated in my article ‘The Long slow thaw.’

        The Giss records of 1880 merely show a continuation of rising temperatures and are not the starting post. Fan never seems to want to discuss this 350 year long warming trend.

        tonyb

      • The higher the climate sensitivity to CO2 the colder we would now be without man’s input. I thank my lucky stars every day, whether those stars chill or warm, that the recovery from the Little Ice Age has been probably predominantly natural.
        =================

      • Tony: Wikepedia also says that one of the engines is at the Henry Ford Museum, near my home in Michigan, and where, in my retirement, I may get a job driving horse carriages. Also interested in seeing the site in England; have fond memories of my time at Wethersfield RAF Station.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        TonyB complains “Fan never seems to want to discuss this 350 year long warming trend.”

        That’s `cuz borehole hockey-sticks plainly show the warming-blade on the (recent) RIGHT!

        *EVERYONE* can see *THAT*, eh TonyB?

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      • Fan

        Do look at the links you post.

        The borehole proxies show the blade starting around 1650. The blue lines are the INSTRUMENTAL record from Phil jones. As we have demonstrated before, instrumental records have different characteristics to proxies as they have a different statistical outcome, being centred on fifty year rather than annual or decadal information.

        The modern 350 year warming, if modern can be said to be 350 years old, will display broadly similar characteristics to the similar period of warming that began around 850AD in as much it will rise and eventually fall again, as It did in the Roman warm period.

        You do realise that the modern warm period is not unique dont you Fan?

        Tonyb

      • “You do realise that the modern warm period is not unique dont you Fan?”
        ———
        Except of course that especially since about 1960, warming seems at least partially related to rapid GH gas increases. It is this additional external forcing that is quite unique. Higher solar output combined with lower aerosol load from fewer volcanoes between 700 AD and 1200 AD seems to be the main drivers of MWP warming. Conversely, we saw a modern TSI peak around 1960, yet rapid warming after that. GH gas increased forcing is a forcing not seen during the MWP.

    • oh look fanny,you are wrong again http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/new-paper-unexpectedly-finds-diverging.html

      looks like they found trenberth,s missing heat,radiated out to space ,not hiding in the deep oceans.

  31. Dr. Carl Wunsch of MIT
    Wrote an excellent or edited an excellent book available from MIT in honor of Henry Stommel also of Woods Hole and MIT about Pysical Oceanography and Physical Processes in Oceanography. These are real experts but humble and exact in making claims and appreciation of what we know, what we don’t know and what we don’t know we don’t know. Excellent post and thanks for the links to Steele and the original article.
    Scott

  32. Can’t model the ocean and the ocean data is not sufficient to tell what is happening. NSS.

    My prediction is that we will find the climate is relatively insensitive to changes in CO2 because it is in the form of IR spread out fairly evenly across the globe. Geologic history shows that climate is much more sensitive to leveraged forcings that concentrate their power on regions. Leveraged forcings are more likely to cause cascading feedbacks and rapid climate change.

    The question the becomes, does CO2 forcing increase cause a leveraged feedback that can cascade? Melting of the arctic? Permanent El Nino? Who knows, but the current situation implies no.

    Like Mosher said upthread, we need to invest more in data and less in models and wild speculation on the consequences implied by the worthless models. Models, however, are indispensable tools identify and direct the filling of data gaps.

    In other words, Geology 104A. See Compton’s Manual of Field Geology on how to cure cranial-rectal insertion.

  33. Joshua | July 23, 2014 at 11:03 am |

    Rob -

    Here you go:

    ==> ” That might be the second side to this issue – but there is a massive assymetry between the space cadets fixated on hiding uncertainty and the rest of us. ”

    A perfect contribution from our friend the Chief.

    Ask him what he is the chief of…</I.

    The long comment is here – http://judithcurry.com/2014/07/22/are-the-deep-oceans-cooling/#comment-610798

    The irony is that Joshua focuses on the personal while fabricating meta theories about the inadequacy of sceptic reasoning and imaging that I have some obsession with him. How amusing.

    The asymmetry is between a small, vocal, self obsessed and sententious subset of the population obsessed with progressive causes and ideas – some 5% – and the rest of us. Sound like someone we know?

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  35. willard (@nevaudit) says | July 23, 2014 at 8:10 am |

    > Since you are now an expert on ocean heating/cooling it was most gratifying to see your prompt response.

    Are you suggesting that Judy is, Tom C?

    And | July 23, 2014 at 9:35 am |

    > I think Tom C is suggesting that Joshua is not an expert on ocean heating/cooling.

    Neither is Judy.

    Most objective observers, AFAIK, would consider the co-author of a textbook like Thermodynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans to be something of an expert on every subject covered. Such as Chapter 11 Thermohaline Processes in the Ocean. (Yes, the book was published in 1999, but once somebody’s familiar with the general semantic framework of such a subject, new research can be quickly “fitted into the right pigeon holes”, keeping them updated. Unlike a newbie starting from scratch.)

    I’ll leave to readers judgments regarding willard (@nevaudit)’s “objectivity”/”impartiality” (a requisite for real “auditors”).

    But Prof. Curry, I have a question: is there anywhere I can find collected the best estimates, along with uncertainties, of total heat transport into/out of the deep layer(s) by various mechanisms (cold polar subduction, turbulent pseudo-diffusion, vulcanism), annual variation (with uncertainties) of same (excluding vulcanism I suppose) and order-of-magnitude comparisons with the supposed hypothesized transport of “missing heat” into the deep ocean over the last few decades? My own Google searches haven’t netted anything with those data. (Although I found lots of other interesting stuff, including an article by Roy Spencer that might help some here understand how that supposed transport works.)

  36. Are the deep oceans cooling , Mr Gates?
    Sounds like a song.
    Ahh, music to my ears.
    and from a sea shell washed up on a receding beach.
    Life is great.

  37. “USHCN.”

    I want to tell you all a story ’bout a CO2
    and what it could and couldn’t do

    Well, there’s Mosher sittin’ there and seven times he’s dodged the ask
    Zeke sure seems to use a lot of ice whenever he’s away
    And Mr.Gates, can you tell us why your oceans are cooling down?
    And shouldn’t SST’s be up instead of down?
    it really did, it happened just this way
    The day Deep Oceans began cooling away

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  39. Whether or not the deep ocean violates basic physics by heating up without the heat touching the 700m above it, the case remains that this would be evidence only of another natural variation that was discounted by climate modelers, leading to even less faith in the models and making catastrophic heating scenarios even less likely. You cannot hde from it; either natural variation dominates over CO2 heating or the assumptions about forcings & climate sensitivity are wrong in the first place.

    As for misguided trolls trying to deride the critical thinking of skeptics; well just imagine if skeptics had suggested 20 years ago that the extra heat from AGW would hide in the deep ocean, based on zero data and zero theory: We’d surely be derided as anti-science loonies: Well it’s the alarmists who fit that description now!

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  46. In an earlier post Dr. Curry said “The only data set that appears to provide support for ocean sequestration is the ocean reanalysis…”

    But Lyman and Johnson 2013′s dataset is observational, not a reanalysis, and appears to contradict this. From that study:

    “In recent years, from 2004 to 2011, while the upper ocean is not warming, the ocean continues to absorb heat at depth (e.g., Levitus et al. 2012; von Schuckman and Le Traon 2011),here estimated at a rate of 0.56 W m-2 when integrating over 0-1800 m.”